Seasonal Stuff…

December brings a whole bunch of fun stuff – this weekend really kicked the whole Christmas thing off – Friday afternoon’s light switch-on in the market, for example. When I went to this only a couple years ago there were about 40 people milling around almost unaware anything was going on at all. This year, the place was packed – mainly with mums and dads come to see their kiddies parade in with rather splendid home made lanterns, singing carols to welcome the lights, which look pretty damn good this year.

Did you know we have a mayor? No – nor did I, or anyone I’ve spoken to since I saw him on the platform making a speech after the grand switch-on. I knew that Lewisham had one, but I had no idea that there was Greenwich version. Have I just been monumentally unobservant? Of course, he was on stage with the panto cast, so it’s just possible that he was just an actor in costume, but I suspect not.

How does that work, then? How does the mayor get chosen? Is he voted in? What does he actually do, apart from the obvious of wearing a red cape and a chain and switching on Christmas lights?

Sunday saw the jolly carol event at East Greenwich Pleasaunce, where Father Christmas arrived (clearly hot-footing it from his grotto in the market, which was doing such brisk trade on Friday afternoon that the queue ran in front of all the shops on the west side…) on a Harley, complete with outriders – oh and he had a steel band and – heavens – good weather too…

Talking of that weather though, December also brings some, um, interesting conditions. I had LatelyGay spitting tacks yesterday, over Westcombe Park Station. Apparently Greenwich has an ice rink after all this year…

I’d certainly slipped and slided my way over to Blackheath Farmers Market market yesterday morning. Every pavement had a thin layer of frost that made just walking quite a task. But apparently Westcombe Park station is a nightmare – no salt/grit whatsoever and seriously perilous. LatelyGay tells me that the elderly guy in front of him went flat on his face. He continues:

“I saw an older couple and cautioned them to watch their step and together we nervously made our way down the hill the to main road. I stuck close to the boundary fence and for a stretch had to grip the mesh as my foot slipped before me.”

I guess it’s probably worse at weekends because there’s less footfall, but here’s hoping South Eastern spend a spot of our fares on a bag of salt in the the very near future. In the meanwhile, take care, guys…


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